(NewsGlobal.com)- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now focused not just on the coronavirus, but on another illness that’s affecting children across America — acute hepatitis.
Last week, the CDC said the number of cases continues to increase, though they aren’t sure what the exact cause of it is. Over the last seven months, the CDC said it has been reported that there were 180 cases in children that spanned over 36 different states.
The last time the results were published, just a few weeks ago on May 5, there were only 71.
This could be very alarming to people across the country, especially parents. But, the CDC also made sure to stress through a statement they released, saying that many of these new cases fit into what’s called “retrospective.” In other words, these cases are being counted now, but could have happened as long ago as October of 2021.
The agency says there haven’t been any deaths from the acute hepatitis since February. In 9% of the cases, children needed a liver transplant. That’s down from 15% who needed a liver transplant as of the last reporting date, which was May 5.
The World Health Organization further stated recently that hepatitis in children continues to be reporting in other countries across the globe.
Recently, Dr. Tina Tan spoke with Newsmax. The infectious disease doctor who works in the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago said of the recent cases:
“It’s unusual because this is occurring in normal, healthy kids who don’t have an underlying condition. Nobody knows the true cause, and what makes it more scary is that these kids develop very severe hepatitis.”
Roughly half of the cases in the United States that have involved children have included a form of adenovirus. The CDC said that this could be a key to understanding what the underlying cause of all of this could be.
According to the agency:
“It’s important to note that severe hepatitis in children remains rare. However, we encourage parents and caregivers to be aware of the symptoms of hepatitis — particularly jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin or eyes — and to contact their child’s health care provider with any concern.”
Additional lab testing is being conducted by the CDC so they can look at potential pathogens and the adenovirus genome specifically. They are also looking to see whether COVID-19 could be causing this acute hepatitis in children.
The CDC did rule out the possibility that it could be happening because of coronavirus vaccines, though. The agency’s deputy director of infectious diseases, Dr. Jay Butler, said in early May:
“COVID-19 vaccination is not the cause of these illnesses, and we hope that this information helps clarify some of the speculations circulating online.”
The CDC in the meantime is communicating with various medical groups to provide lab guidance and reporting to doctors who may be dealing with a case of acute hepatitis in their practice, officials said.